Suao Cold Spring: A Dip In One Of The World's Two Cold Springs, Taiwan

Suao Cold Spring: A Dip In One Of The World's Two Cold Springs, Taiwan

Summers in Taiwan can get swelteringly hot, and when you feel sticky all day, there is nothing quite like a refreshing cold bath to rejuvenate your senses. And in Suao, a quaint small town in Yilan, you have the option to dip yourself in a bubbly cold spring, which in addition to cooling down your body, also has beneficial properties for your skin! Cold springs are a rare find, with the only other cold spring in the world located in Italy. Suao Cold Spring Park is a popular and wallet-friendly option for a dip in a cold spring if you ever stop by Yilan.

A short walk from Suao train station

The main entrance of Suao Cold Spring Park.
Source: Yiqi

Suao Cold Spring Park is located north of Suao Town, about 300 metres (984.25 ft) away from Suao train station. A sleepy small town, it can be hard to believe that such a famous cold spring is right around the corner, but you know you are on the right track when you start to see shops that sell swimwear. When in doubt, just ask the friendly locals for directions.

Suao Cold Spring Park has a rustic setting and its facilities are far from new. There is a slightly dilapidated look but given the affordable pricing at 70 TWD (about 2 USD) per person for the public pool, and 200 TWD (about 6 USD) per person for a private pool, there is nothing much to complain about. Do note that you have to bring your own swimwear if you want to go to the public pool.

A carbonated spring with temperature below 22 degree Celsius

The inside of the Suao Cold Spring Park.
Source: Yiqi

Blessed with a huge underground water reserve (due to its abundant rainfall) and a rich limestone stratum, two criteria that result in the formation of a cold spring, Suao cold spring was first discovered in 1928 by Japanese soldiers. Today, it is one of the more famous springs in Yilan, together with Jiaoxi hot spring from Yilan’s neighbouring town.

Different from the sulfurous springs of northern Taiwan’s hot spring resorts, Suao cold spring is much colder at 22 degree Celsius and carbonated by high levels of naturally occurring carbon dioxide.

Extremely cold when you first step into the cold spring

The private room with hot spring and cold spring.
Source: Yiqi

You also have the option of enjoying both the hot spring and cold spring in a private room which was what I did. The cost is 450 TWD (about 14 USD) for two and 300 TWD (about 9 USD) for one.

According to the instructions on the wall, you need to submerge yourself up to waist level in the cold spring for 3 minutes. Once your body gets adjusted to the temperature, you can continue immersing your body up to neck level. After 5 minutes, you will feel your body warming up; in fact, some parts of your body might even have a prickly sensation.

Although I read the instructions, it was still hard to follow, simply because it was too cold! Even though I went to the cold spring feeling hot and sticky, the icy water was still too hard to bear initially. In fact, I think I spent about 10 minutes before I dared to submerge my body.

It’s like soaking in a tub of soda

A keg full with cold spring water for you to splash water on your face.

Once you are in the cold spring, you will feel the “bubbles” coming up through the waters, which is quite a special sensation.

If you choose the hot spring and cold spring option, like what I did, you are expected to alternate between the two pools every 10 to 15 minutes. However, for someone like me who squeals at the cold water touching my skin, it means my body has to keep readjusting to the cold everytime I come out of the hot tub, and this readjustment was not a pleasant experience for me.

A skin-beautifying treat and rejuvenating soak at affordable pricing

It is believed that soaking in the cold spring water can cure skin diseases and that submerging yourself in its coldness can aid in blood circulation. In fact, it was also reported that drinking this colourless, odourless spring water can cure intestinal problems.

I’m not too sure about just how accurate these claims are, but one thing is for sure, a soak in the cold spring left me feeling refreshed and energised in the hot summer heat.

For those looking for a more upmarket cold spring experience, you can opt for a dip in RSL Cold & Hot Springs Resort nearby. However, if you feel like enjoying a more authentic local experience that is budget-friendly, a trip to Suao Cold Spring Park is not to be missed.

Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.

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